Prescription Medicines: “The Other Drug War”                     HE 362W Contemporary Health

Understanding USA Healthcare System



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  1. Why are people in the USA going to Canada to buy prescription medicines?
  2. What can state and federal governments take to keep drug prices down? Why are state governments interested in keeping prescription prices lower?
  3. Name 3 main arguments the pharmaceutical companies use to justify their high prices on drugs. How much percentage do pharmaceutical companies spend on R&D (research and development) and how much (percentage) do these same companies spend on advertising?


  1. What steps has PHARMA taken to stop states from influencing/controlling drug prices?
  2. What were the two options the federal government had in writing the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA)? Which version did PHARMA support? Which form actually passed in December 2003?
  3. What is the Oregon Preferred Drug List and how does it work?